Microsoft has potentially opened the floodgates to create a second hand market for Microsoft licences by allowing a UK company - Discount-Licensing.com to resell licences that have been previously owned by companies that are downsizing or having financial problems.

With products ranging from Office XP to Microsoft's Exchange Server, the company works with Microsoft to ensure the licences are legally transferable and that the proper transfer forms are completed, then resells the licences.

The process of identifying an appropriate agreement(s), confirming asset availability and providing the transfer documents normally takes between 7-14 days although potential buyers won't be able to buy operating systems due to Microsoft's own service offering in this area.

The company suggests that business users will make savings in the region of 20-50% depending on the type and version required.

Understandably, the savings are typically greater on older versions of software than new.

The company has over 40,000 licences for sale currently, and is acquiring more and more every month.